Tour Responsibly: Expanding Profits and Protecting Coral Reefs
Could coral reef conservation and tourism give new life to sustainable tourism? Estimates suggest that the total global value of coral reef-based recreation and tourism is at $9.6 billion. Preserving coral reefs with sustainable tourism is essential to maintaining financial growth in those parts of the world that rely on marine tourism.
In the United States, an economic contribution of $364 million is annually added to the economy of Hawaii because of coral reef recreation. Nearly $1 billion in gross revenue is contributed to Hawaii because of coral reef recreation that the island offers to visitors. In South East Asia, where health coral reef thrive, there is potential net worth benefit of $23,100 to $270,000 from coral reef-based recreation. These figures are evidence that certain parts of the world simply can't afford to lose the revenue generated from coral reef recreation.
Forty percent of the world's natural coral reefs have already been destroyed and scientists estimate that eighty percent will be permanently destroyed by 2050. Who is working to protect these precious underwater ecosystems that attract visitors from around the world and stimulate local economies?
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is an international nonprofit organization that works with communities and local partners to improve the health and resiliency of coral reefs. CORAL establishes relationships with local community members, governments and marine recreation managers to ensure that human activity around coral reefs is as harmless as possible.
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